Five easy mask-friendly Halloween costumes

Stay safe this Halloween with these mask-friendly costumes. Photo courtesy of Insider.


Thinking of a feasible and inexpensive Halloween costume is difficult enough any year, but COVID-19 and the need to wear masks throws an extra wrench into this year’s plans. Fear not, there are options for Halloween costumes that are both fun and pandemic-safe!


For this classic costume, wear a white mask and a flowy white outfit. For ghostly makeup, apply a foundation or concealer that is lighter than your natural skin tone all over the top part of your face including over your eyebrows and eyelashes to gray them out. A very light-colored powder or cream eyeshadow, such as the NYX Cosmetics Jumbo Eye Pencil in the shade Milk, can be used to further spookify the eyebrows. Then, use gray and black eyeshadow to create corpse-like shadows in your eye socket and under-eyes.

Alternatively, just say screw it, and join all the TikTokers wearing white sheets over their heads with black Sharpied eyes, or throw on a pair of sunglasses. No visible mask, no problem.

Miscellaneous 80s

Dressing up as an entire decade is a tried-and-true costume that works even with the need to wear masks. Combine neon layers, a tracksuit, leg and arm warmers or flared pants, and tie it together with a totally tubular neon face mask. Curl and backcomb the hair to fake a perm, or tie it up with a scrunchie.

This is a costume that allows for experimentation with makeup. A mix of bright, colorful eyeshadow and defined, thin brows are a must. Using a tacky base under eyeshadows, such as concealer or foundation, can help the color appear more pigmented. Blending the eye look by using a dabbing motion rather than a swiping motion can also help prevent finicky eyeshadows from blending into chalky nothingness.

In addition, a popular makeup technique from the 80s was “blush draping.” While blush is oftentimes worn on the apples of the cheeks and consequently covered up by a mask, blush draping extends blush past the eyes, sometimes all the way up to the temples. This is both a staple 80s look and a way to show off makeup with masks.

Butler chemistry/pharmacy student

To incorporate those disposable blue face masks without going for the obvious nurse or doctor, dress up as a Butler chemistry student instead! Make sure to wear department-approved lab attire: close-toed shoes, long pants, a covered midriff and long hair tied back. In addition, do not forget the disposable mask, lab goggles and disposable nitrile gloves.

To really spice things up, use eyeliner, eyeshadow or a brow pencil to draw fake tears. This way, you can fully embody the true despair of organic chemistry lab.

To easily transform this costume into a Butler pharmacy student who works part-time at CVS Pharmacy, obtain scrubs or a white coat from Goodwill, and safety pin a name tag to your shirt. Attaching a photo of Angela Ockerman — assistant dean of student affairs of COPHS and every pharmacy major’s icon — is optional.

Butler dance major

Another ubiquitous archetype at Butler University is the dance major. Kyra Opdyke, a sophomore dance performance major, gave her expert insider take on recreating the iconic dancer look.

Track pants are kind of a staple that we wear ‘cause we have to wear our leotards and tights underneath clothing before class,” Opdyke said. “So we wear some sort of sweatpants or track pants normally and a sweatshirt and some sneakers. That’s normally the go-to, I would say.”

For long hair, Opdyke revealed a few of the most common hairstyles.

French twists are really popular. I wear French twists a lot of the time,” Opdyke said. “Low buns are really popular with the side part or a middle part, and then obviously the standard high bun. Normally when we do high buns, we do a little poof on the top.”

In addition to an obligatory Hydro Flask and a backpack for school, Opdyke said many dancers also carry around some sort of shoulder or tote bag as a dedicated dance bag. For a dance major costume, carry around a duffel bag or canvas tote bag filled with unknown dance-related wonders. What is in that mysterious bag: pointe shoes? A foam roller? A yoga mat? A mini chiropractor? The world outside of the basement of Lilly may never know!

Aside from wearing typical face masks like other Butler students, some dance majors also wear mask brackets — silicone, cage-like devices that fit under masks — that keep masks away from their noses and mouths to make it easier to breathe while exercising. This effect can be mimicked by taking an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll, cutting it into a stout cylinder about half an inch tall, and placing it under your mask. This is not the most comfortable thing to wear for an extended period of time, but a little bit of comfort can be sacrificed for a costume.

Your roommates

Let those around you be your muse, and dress up as your roommates! Lauren Moreland, a sophomore criminology and psychology double major, and Mitchell Remington, a sophomore jazz studies and economics double major, discussed their pod’s Halloween plan to dress up as each other. Remington said that the members of their pod put everybody’s name in a bowl, and then they drew names at random to determine who would dress up as whom.

Of course, the way to achieve this costume will vary depending on each person’s individual wardrobe and style. However, they still plan on staying cost-effective.

“For instance, my roommate Trevor has me,” Remington said. “We don’t dress super differently. I’m usually a little more casual, a little less dapper than he is, but generally, he could achieve my outfit with just stuff in his wardrobe, more than likely. If he needs to borrow something he can. I have [another podmate] Christina. It’s a little more difficult for me. So we’re figuring that out, and we’ll probably play it by ear, but yeah, nothing too extreme no Party City.”

For masks, they may switch reusable face masks, as long as they launder them beforehand. However, they all also own many of the same or at the very least, very similar  solid-colored masks, so masks will not be a huge issue with these costumes.

Moreland said that the safety aspect added to the benefits of the costume, since the safest way to celebrate this year’s Halloween is to stay in.

“That’s kind of why we decided to do this in the first place,” Moreland said. “‘Cause we figured, well, we’re not going anywhere. So, we wanted to be cost-effective but still really fun. And so we figured well, we’re all friends, so why not switch identities for a day, have some laughs?”

Bonus idea: Draw inspiration from your masks

Any patterned or themed mask can be the inspiration for a full-on outfit. A plaid mask can work for a lumberjack or Christian girl autumn costume. A floral patterned or plant-themed mask can be incorporated into a fairy costume — or just some sort of plant costume. A solid-colored mask can serve as the foundation for a monochromatic Pantone color or paint chip costume; an all-black mask, in particular, can function as part of an e-boy costume. An animal print mask can be used just to be that animal.

From TikTok ghost to Butler dance major, the possibilities are endless, and a face mask does not have to stand in the way of a fun and festive Halloween. Your own creative ability is the only limitation here.



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